The President Has Spoken on Immigration: What Does It Mean For YOU?

Among the recent presidential actions on immigration are provisions to modernize, improve and clarify immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs – with the greatest economic impact affecting U.S. businesses, foreign investors, researchers, inventors and skilled foreign workers.

While specifics won’t be known about changes to economic oriented immigration policy until the guidance and regulations are issued, the effect of changes in the regulations impacting foreign students will be primarily among F1 visa holders. For foreign students specifically, further expansion and extension of optional practical training (OPT) is being proposed which could open the door to great opportunity for both students and employers alike. The next step in this process is for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop regulations for notice and public comment on the changes. No timeline for this process has yet been established.

What this means for international students interested in staying in the US after graduation for experiential education could be profound, likely further extending the current 17 month STEM extension period, as well as the expanding the designated degree programs that qualify. Currently, certain students who graduate with a STEM degree are eligible to remain in the United States for an additional 17 months (beyond the standard 12 months) on an optional practical training (OPT) STEM extension. Students may qualify for an additional 17 months of OPT under the following circumstances:

  1. Your degree for your current period of post-completion OPT is a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM program listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM designated degree program list
  2. The employer from which you are seeking work uses the E-Verify Program
  3. You have not already received a 17-month extension of OPT
    Approximately 10,000 students are currently working in Michigan on OPT, and over 29,000 international students are studying in Michigan colleges and universities. The purpose of the presidential actions relative to STEM expansion/extension is clear – to further open a pathway to experiential employment in the United States for talented foreign students to lessen the talent shortages so widely reported by employers, while improving the Michigan and national economies.

What can you do as a student? Prepare. Begin by completing a Free profile of yourself on the GTRI GOregistry, and make certain that you have a current “American styled” resume for employers to review.

What can you do as an employer? Prepare. Apply to GTRI to become a Global Opportunity Employer, GOemployer, and consider participating as an employer in the GOregistry for unlimited access to skilled global talent waiting to hear from you. To learn more about the GOregistry please contact Jeff at GTRI at jtowns@migtri.org or by calling 517-290-0853.

8 Tips for Surviving Finals

The countdown to winter break has officially begun and the end of the semester is right within your reach! The only thing standing between you and those four sweet weeks of rest and relaxation is the dreaded finals week. Final exams can be an exhausting and chaotic experience if you do not properly prepare yourself. You may think that all-nighters and copious amounts of Redbull and coffee will get you through the home stretch, but there are healthier and more efficient ways to study for your finals. We have put together a list of tips for you to follow to help you study and deal with the stress of final exams!

1. Rest up: Studying is important, but cannot be accomplished without a sufficient amount of energy. During the week of finals, try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

2. Organize a plan: Two weeks before your finals, write down your entire schedule for the upcoming weeks. Include everything such as classes, work, extracurricular activities, time for studying, etc.

3. Create a study guide: Even if your professor does not make it mandatory, study guides can help outline what you need to know.

4. Find a study buddy: Nothing is worse than not understanding the material you are studying. Seek out help from TA’s, Professors, study groups, help centers or a friend from your class.

5. Use all resources given: No one knows the exam better than the professor. If your professor gives you any resources, take advantage of them (there is a reason why they are giving it to you)!

6. Stay healthy: Be sure to eat nutrient rich meals and stay active. This will help control stress, keep your emotions stable, and raise your energy levels.

7. Don’t Cram: Studies show that cramming right before an exam wont help you do well. It is best to study in intervals; study for 20 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. This helps you retain information longer and more effectively than if you were to cram.

8. Find your study spot: Everyone has different study habits, and location plays a role in that. Find a spot where you can really hunker down and do your best work. Whether it’s in your dorm room, a coffee shop, the library, or the comfort of your bed, pick a place that works for you.

beaded prom dress

How to Prepare for a Career Conference

Attending a career conference is a great way to gain insight about your field of study and learn more about what it takes to land an interview and secure a job.  Career conferences consist of multiple sessions that you can attend, each focusing on a different interest. We know career conferences can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you prepare for the Michigan Global Future Conference and getting the most out of this great experience!

Networking

Networking never stops. Throughout your career, you will always be meeting new people, forming professional relationships and networking. At a career conference you will be meeting students who share your interests in learning more about your industry, and employers who are there because they want to teach you. It is important to build connections with the people you meet! Business cards and resumes are a couple of things you can bring to help you network.

Dress appropriately

Make sure you dress professionally. You never know whom you will meet at a career conference, so you want to look presentable. Pick clothes that travel well and are weather appropriate, and make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to wear for an entire day.

Take notes

You are here to learn, so it is important to take notes so you can have them for reference once you leave the conference. Bring something easily transportable to take notes with, a pen and paper, tablet, or even a camera to take pictures of slides the presenters may use.

Social Media

Interacting on social media is a great way to get involved and interact digitally with a conference. At the Michigan Global Future conference, we will be using the hashtag #MGFD2014. If you tweet or post about something you learned or to someone you met, use the hashtag and other people who are at the conference and are also interacting can see what you have shared. It is a great way to meet people and get noticed on social networks.

By following these tips, you will be making the most out of your career conference experience! We hope you have fun at the Michigan Global Future Conference!

Suit Up for Success: What to Wear for Your Job Interview

 

You have a job interview coming up. You’ve researched the company, prepared yourself for those tough interview questions and now comes challenge of what to wear. First impressions are everything and how you dress is major part of it.

When deciding what is appropriate, always dress more professionally than you think. For males the best option is to wear a suit unless the company is not as professional. In that case you could wear dress pants and a button down shirt with a tie. Also note that accessories for men are important as well. Make sure you wear the proper shoes to match your outfit; you would never wear tennis shoes with a suit. And of course, personal grooming to match a professional environment is essential.

For women, dressing for an interview is more complex due to the combination of professional clothing available. The skirt suit is a good professional attire choice; dress pants and a blazer with a coordinated blouse is also ideal. Accessories for women are key, completing an interview outfit. Jewelry should complement your outfit without being too flashy. Neatly manicured nails and well-done hair are also an asset.

When the workplace or position is less formal, the dress code may be as well. Remember to dress for the position you want and never go dressed as a slob. You are not only projecting your fashion choices through your outfit, but also your work ethic.